HIGHLIGHTS: Forge FC vs Cavalry FC (September 10, 2022)
Forge FC returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion on Saturday afternoon, as they defeated Cavalry FC 2-1 at Tim Hortons Field in an intense clash that saw red cards on both sides and no shortage of excellent goals.
Forge received a significant morale boost heading into this match, with the much-anticipated return of Daniel Krutzen to the backline for the first time since November 2021. With the Dutchman at centre-back, Bobby Smyrniotis was able to push Alex Achinioti-Jönsson upfield into his natural midfield position, with Dominic Samuel — playing his 100th match for Forge — moving to left-back.
Cavalry, meanwhile, made a few changes to the squad that drew 0-0 in Halifax last weekend, as Elliot Simmons returned to midfield and Ali Musse slotted in as a number 10.
The match took on a frantic pace from the early going, as a Forge giveaway just 45 seconds in gave Cavalry a pair of glorious chances with a numerical overload, but Triston Henry was up to the task and made two excellent saves.
Ten minutes later, it would be Forge who found joy first. The hosts won the ball on the edge of the attacking third and David Choinière cut toward the box, choosing to keep it himself rather than play a through ball — a decision which would prove wise, as he got around his defender and scored at the near post with a perfectly-placed shot.
Cavalry would go on to have a few opportunities to equalize in the latter part of the first half, including a string of three-consecutive set-pieces they couldn’t bury, but Forge’s well-organized defence kept them at bay until the interval.
Chasing a goal, Cavs boss Tommy Wheeldon Jr. elected to make a halftime substitution to his lineup, inserting Mikaël Cantave on the right wing in place of Jean-Aniel Assi.
The mountain quickly became even taller for Cavalry just a few minutes into the second half, however. An excellent Kyle Bekker through ball found Woobens Pacius in the box, and although the striker’s attempt was denied by Marco Carducci, Aboubacar Sissoko was waiting on the doorstep to bury the rebound and make it 2-0 for the hosts.
With his side struggling to get up the field, Wheeldon went to his bench again at the hour mark, putting Joseph Di Chiara into his midfield instead of Charlie Trafford.
Almost immediately after, the Cavs at last found their foothold in the game. They pushed into the final third and Joe Mason tapped it to Cantave a touch at the top of the box, flicking it over the defence to Ali Musse running in behind. Musse finished strongly with a half-volley to cut Forge’s lead in half with just under 30 minutes to play.
From there, the intensity of the match only increased. Ten minutes after Cavalry scored, they found themselves in the final third again. Tristan Borges made a good tackle and sent Roberto Alarcón to the floor, but as Bekker went for the loose ball he stepped hard on Alarcón’s leg, earning himself a straight red card. Tempers bubbled over from there, as a flurry of players from both sides came together in heated exchanges, though eventually cooler heads prevailed and only two more yellow cards were handed out.
Just 15 minutes later, though, the sides would be at even strength again. Di Chiara tangled himself in an aggressive challenge on Forge’s Noah Jensen not far from the spot where Bekker was sent off, and he too saw a red card as both sides would have to finish the match on 10 men — or so they thought.
Late in stoppage time, Cavalry had yet another player sent to the showers early, as Cantave shoved Triston Henry after the play, and he too was shown red after a second yellow card.
Despite a late push from the Cavs — including one shot that thumped off the crossbar — Forge would manage to hold onto the slim 2-1 lead, seeing out the result for their first win after a three-match winless slump. With the added three points, Forge moved past Cavalry into second place in the league table, giving them a little more breathing room in their quest to clinch a top-four position.
10′ — David Choinière (Forge FC)
52′ — Aboubacar Sissoko (Forge FC)
63′ — Ali Musse (Cavalry FC)
37′ — Yellow: Rezart Rama (Forge FC)
45′ — Yellow: José Escalante (Cavalry FC)
69′ — Yellow: Woobens Pacius (Forge FC)
70′ — Red: Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)
70′ — Yellow: Mikaël Cantave (Cavalry FC)
70′ — Yellow: Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
86′ — Red: Joseph Di Chiara (Cavalry FC)